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Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi all.

 

I'm using Microsoft Power BI to connect our data in Google Analytics and our SQL database. When I do however - the numbers don't make sense. We are a video production company that are looking into how many plays our videos get. See below for the sample data:

 

Google Analytics data: https://goo.gl/tyzBtr

Power BI data: https://goo.gl/1PpDh1

 

 

Both tables show what I would like to see, total events (filtered to plays) by our video key (which we take from the video URL). As you can see, the MS Power BI data is nowhere near the data that's shown on the Analytics. It seems to congregate around certain numbers, we don't have that many videos that it can't be pure coincidence they'd all have 50 plays. 

 

I'd appreciate any tips/advice around this. Thanks in advance!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
The GA data is from the All Pages report while the BI data is pulling in the VideoTourKey dimension, which I believe comes from an event as either Event Category, Event Action or Event Label. The fact both are looking at Total Events as metric is irrelevant at the moment.

Also, I think that Power BI is looking at historical data which may well not sync with the date range you're looking at in GA.

Could you confirm you're looking at the same date range. Plus, for the same period, look at the same reports for comparison.

Cheers!

Re: Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for the reply.

From my understanding, Power BI tries to pull through all the data on the columns that are selected, then it needs to be filtered down by dates/times. There is no option when connecting to Google Analytics to select a certain date range.

I'm aware sampling may be an issue, but from what I can see there is nothing that can be done about it. As the connection is made, I can manipulate the query to only include selected date ranges, but by then the data seems to have been pre-sampled.

Re: Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
You are right. Data is narrowed down once in Power BI. But is your problem a sampling one or the fact you're seeing more dimension values when comparing BI and GA?

Re: Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
The problem is the data is not accurate. I can find a videokey in GA for one day and it;ll have 10 plays, but then in Power BI it'll have 17 plays. I'm just assuming that sampling has some affect on this data, since it's all clumped into groups of values.

Re: Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'm having very similar problems. I connected Google Analytics to the latest desktop version of Power BI pulling in data from our website and intranet. The website data in Power BI is about 5% off from what GA shows which is a margin we can live with; however, the data from our intranet is completely wacky; entire pages are missing and the data is completely off. I used the following dimensions for our intranet:

 

  • Avg. time on page
  • Date
  • Month of the year
  • Page
  • Page Title
  • Unique pageviews
  • Users
  • Year

 

When I connect GA to the browser version of BI, the website data is perfect (but only for the last 180 days) and the Intranet data is still completely wrong. 

 

So far, online communities have suggested making sure you're on the latest and greatest desktop update and triple checking that you're comparing the same date ranges; neither fixed my problem, but you may give it a shot. 

Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Jarrah L & others,

 

I have a similar experience with 'GA UI' vs 'PowerBI GA API' data not matching. Part of this may be due to sampling, etc. I have been search for quite a while for a fix, and believe I may have found one here:  

 

This could be done by setting the date range *before* pulling data [if I'm reading the linked post correctly]. I haven't tried it yet. Power Query M filter data by Dynamic Date (PQ not DAX) Start of Month Could this work?

Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Since I can see others still having this issue and I don't see a clear and useful solution; I'll give you my... lets say 50 cents - since it sounds more cool.

 

I order to get full bang for the GA buck in PBI you would need to either pump the GA data live into Google Big Query (currently requires GA 360) or use a tool like GA partner "SCITYLANA" (Analytics spelled backwards, find more info here on GA partner site: https://www.google.com/analytics/partners/company/5177885753081856)

 

Simply put: You must have a copy of the GA data (un-aggregated/raw hit-level data) on your premises (or cloud db) so you don't run into the reporting limitations of GA.

 

A side note:

The GA API is specialized for aggregating and reporting - so is PBI.

So that Microsoft chose to build a data import connector on an aggregated data source into another aggregation tool without at least making the data import use dynamic timeslicing (last month, last n days etc.) to limit/avoid the most obvious and repeating confusion (sampling) of them all is a mystery to me.

 

Using the Google Analytics connector in Microsoft Power BI

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I recommend using GA connectors with great caution - or avoid them even. There're several issues. Some covered in this post:

Why google analytics connectors are useless